A profile of early faculty innovators using Web-based distributed learning in classes at the University of Central Florida
Patricia A. Niemczyk, University of Central Florida, United States
University of Central Florida . Awarded
The main focus of this descriptive survey was to determine whether the early adopters of online distributed learning courses at the University of Central Florida (UCF) demonstrated the same characteristics as other early adopters in prior studies of innovations. The frame of reference for this study was Roger's theory of the diffusion of innovation. Early adopter perceptions of administration support for online courses were also studied, as was early adopter support for the online distributed learning program at the University of Central Florida after the early adopter had taught at least one online course.
UCF sponsored training for online distributed learning and encouraged instructors to incorporate online courses in their curricula. Each of 41 instructors who did offer a course via online distributed learning in the 2 semesters following the UCF training were sent copies of the descriptive survey. Eighteen of those instructors responded, either in a personal interview or through the mail. The questionnaire included questions to elicit demographic information, characteristics of early adopters, early adopter support for online courses, and perceptions of early adopters about administration support for online courses.
Response analysis showed that the early adopters of online distributed learning at UCF exhibited the same characteristics as identified early adopters in prior studies with two exceptions. Older respondents and female participants indicated a willingness to experiment with technology, contrary to the findings of many other early adopter studies. Survey responses also indicated that the educators support the new online distributed learning program as does the administration.
Early adopters can ensure the diffusion of innovations and recommendations were made to note their perceptions of the value of the online distributed learning program. Based on past research, their support could mean the difference between success and failure of the online distributed learning program at their university.
Niemczyk, P.A. A profile of early faculty innovators using Web-based distributed learning in classes at the University of Central Florida. Ph.D. thesis, University of Central Florida.
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